Discover the warm welcome of an Irish Whiskey distillery this festive season

Irish Whiskey is finding favour among a wider audience, and there are distillery experiences and Christmas gift ideas to suit all tastes

Specially packaged and personalised editions of longstanding and newer Irish Whiskey brands; flavour workshops on mixing the perfect winter-time drinks; seasonal deals on distillery tours; and Christmas fairs — this is just a sample of what Ireland’s 48 all-island whiskey distilleries have to offer gift-givers and visitors this festive season, according to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).

Highlighting the special activities of Irish Whiskey distilleries in the run-up to Christmas, director of the Irish Whiskey Association, Eoin Ó Catháin, said: “December is one of the best times of the year for discovering and exploring the exciting world of Irish Whiskey. Our distilleries have long been gearing up for the upcoming festive season as the last three months of the year are often the strongest for exports of Irish Whiskey.

“At home, 28 Irish Whiskey distilleries operate visitor centres around the island of Ireland, offering a unique venue choice if you are arranging holiday reunions, meet-ups and get-togethers for friends, family or colleagues. Many visitor centres are rolling out highly creative experiences and activities over December, such as tastings, food pairings, masterclasses in classic and reimagined Irish whiskey drinks, along with behind-the-scenes tours, which are not to be missed.”

Ó Catháin continued: “Irish whiskey’s resurgence at home and around the world is being driven in part by a growing interest in the category by a wider audience – our member companies have noticed greater variety in age profile and increased gender balance among consumers and visitors to the distillery experiences. This December is the perfect time to explore Irish Whiskey, and the innovation, world-class facilities, unique brand stories and warm welcome that awaits them at our distilleries.”

Some Irish Whiskey distillery festive season offerings

Here is a taste of what Irish Whiskey distilleries have to offer this festive season:

“Roe & Cosy: a Winter Warmer Workshop” — Roe & Co Distillery, Dublin 8

A Christmas premium experience at Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin’s Liberties is offering guests the opportunity to reimagine whiskey by learning how to make seasonal hot drinks, choosing from flavour combinations such as orange blossom and jasmine, and hibiscus and pineapple. A curated festive cocktail upon arrival, a tour of this active distillery, a whiskey tasting paired with a festive food delicacy and a gift to take home are also included in the €60 per person ticket. See the RoeAndCoWhiskey.com website for booking details.

Jameson Distillery, Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7

Jameson Distillery in Dublin’s Smithfield is offering a specially curated pairing of Irish artisan chocolates with pot still whiskey, along with cocktail-making masterclasses and premium whiskey tastings, with personalised gift options and gift cards also available. More details and pricing are available on the JamesonWhiskey.com website.

Killarney Brewing & Distilling Co, Co Kerry

Killarney Brewing & Distillery Co, which opened its doors just last year, is hosting Christmas events in its restaurant and bar, which not alone offers views of its copper stills but also of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the Gap of Dunloe, in addition to a festive lunch menu. More details and pricing are available on the KillarneyBrewingDistilling.com website.

The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim

Co Leitrim’s The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo is offering a special deal on its Curious Journey Distillery Tour during the month of December for group bookings of ten or more people, with a €5 discount on each tour ticket. See TheShedDistillery.com website for booking details. A Black Friday deal running on 7th and 8th December is giving people who spend €100 or more in The Shed’s Curious Gift Shop a €20 token in return.

Hinch Distillery, Ballynahinch, Co Down

For the colder winter months, including December, Hinch Distillery, which is located between Belfast and Ballynahinch in Co Down, is running a hot toddy and Irish coffee ‘Some Like it Hot’ workshop. The cost is £22.50 sterling per person, with booking via HinchDistillery.com.

IrishWhiskey360° Passport

If you’re planning a visit to an Irish Whiskey distillery this festive season, you may like to pick up a Distillery Passport, an initiative of IrishWhiskey360°, the tourism platform of the Irish Whiskey Association. The Distillery Passport allows visitors to keep a unique record of their journey of discovery through Ireland’s Whiskey distilleries by collecting a stamp at each one. If you collect at least five stamps, with one from each region on the island of Ireland, you can apply for an IrishWhiskey360° champion pin and be added to a Champions mailing list for news alerts and special offers.

Visit the www.IrishWhiskey360.ie website for a map of the Irish Whiskey distilleries that you can visit in Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Northern Ireland, including location, booking and other visitor information.

For more information about the Irish Whiskey Association, go to www.irishwhiskeyassociation.ie.

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